Statement by Dominic Angerame
Dominic Angerame has been the Executive Director of Canyon Cinema one of the world's
renowned distributor of avant garde and experimental films. and videotapes. He
has been teaching 16mm, Super 8mm beginning/ advanced filmmaking and cinema
studies/history since 1984. He currently teaches at the University of California,
Berkeley Extension, and is a guest artist at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has
also taught film production at the New College of Californian well as the
Graduate School of Theology in Berkeley and has been a guest film lecturer at many
Universities, including Stanford and the Graduate
Since 1969, Dominic Angerame has made more than 25 films that have been shown and
won awards in Film Festival around the world, too numerous to mention here. He has been
awarded film productions grants from The
Illinois Arts Council; Samuel B. Mayer Foundation; three AFI Western Regional
Fellowships and a Film Arts Foundation Grant.
His films have been reviewed in such Film Journals as the Millenium
Film Journal; Cinematograph; Wide Angel; etc. He was awarded a retrospective of his film
in a "Cine Probe" Series at the Museum of Modern Art in New
York City in 1993 and in June 1998.
His latest films are a series of five works called "A City Symphony". The
"City Symphony", is a collection of five separate and distinct films made
since 1987. The subject matter centers around the city environment in a constant state of
change. The work is influenced by the avant garde filmmakers of the 1920's and 1930's and
this symphony is an homage to those persons who believe that through their actions in the
world, they can affect a change towards a positive end. "City Symphony"
focuses upon rich black and white images of construction and
destruction of modern structures in the urban environment. They with ritualization
of manual labor, construction activities, the human cycle of building,
tearing down, replacing with rebuilding, and maintenance
of structures as seen in the contemporary urban world.
The "City Symphony", is a collection of five separate and distinct films
made since 1987. The subject matter centers around the city environment in a constant
state of change. The work is influenced by the avant garde filmmakers of the 1920's and
1930's and this symphony is an homage to those persons who believe that through their
actions in the world, they can affect a change towards a positive end. "City
Symphony" focuses upon rich black and white images of construction and destruction of
modern structures in the urban environment. The themes deal with the
ritualization of manual labor, construction activities, the human cycle of
building, tearing down, replacing with rebuilding, and maintenance of structures as
seen in the contemporary urban world.
CONTINNUM (87) centers on the people performing hard manual labor,
such as tarring roofs, digging up streets.
DECONSTRUCTION SIGHT (90) shows how in the modern methods of
construction activities men and women
have become insignificant behind mammoth tools of destruction. The machines
have taken over.
The third part, PREMONITION (1995) in which the concrete
world of the American infra-structure and its demise are made strangely poetic
in this expressionist documentary which shows the vacant San Francisco
Embarcadero Freeway after it has outlived its usefulness, before its
destruction. In an atmosphere of daylight,
mystery, the film reveals how the past is encircled by the future.
IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS (1997) centers its visuals on
the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway which was structurally damaged
during the 1989 earthquake.
Line of Fire (97) is an visual footnote to these previous four
The sequencing of images that work on the viewer's sensibility, elicit powerful feelings
and ideas about the contemporary society in which we live. A conven-tional narrative
style, aural or visual, will not be found in these films. Truly experimental, yet
far from arbitrary, and possessed of an intensely individual aesthetic, the
"City Symphony" packs a punch that reveals an underpinning of
consistent social and political awareness, and a driving poetic vision lifted
from the self out to the world beyond the self. In all of his
work, one can see a
painterly delight in the creation of the visual mix, and a painterly style in the
execution of the celluloid artwork.
Description about in Course of Human Events and In the line of Fire
In The Course of Human Events (1997) 23 min black and white sound
Filmed, Directed and Edited by Dominic Angerame; Sound by Kevin Barnard,
Ray Guillet, and Kyle Newhall; Sound Design By Amy Leigh Hunter.
This is a film of the tearing down of the San Francisco Embarcadero Freeway that was
damaged in the 1989 earthquake.
an exquisite black and white surrealist depiction of the Embarcadero
Freeway demolition, in which dinosaurlike tractors gnash at an organic
tangle of steel reinforcements
Inanimate objects and heavy machinery
become living metaphors for generation through the director's signature
use of high-contrast, time-lapse, and double exposure cinematography.
Like a moving gallery installation, the 23 minute piece is composed of
individual shots so precise and emotionally evocative that each could
stand on its own as testimony to Angerame's astounding talent."-Silke
Tudor, SF Weekly
Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, CA September, 1998
Hamburg International Film Festival, June 1998
Museum of Modern Art, "Cine Probe Series", June 1998
Fairfield Arts Festival, September, 1997
Viper International Film Festival, May, 1998
Victoria Theatre, San Francisco, May, 1997
Osnabruck Media Arts Festival, April, 1998 Pittsburgh Filmmakers,
Impackt Film Festival, May, 1998
Berks Filmmakers, Reading, PA, March, 1997
Ann Arbor Film Festival, March, 1998
Millenium Film Workshop, NY, 1997
Rotterdam Film Festival, January, 1998
Venue Nine, San Francisco, CA January, 1998
Cracow Film Festival, Poland, November, 1997
Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria, 1997
Film/Arc Film Festival, Graz, Austria, November, 1997
University of Colorado, Boulder, One Person Showing, Boulder, November,
Bug Cinema, Denver, Co, November, 1997
Film Arts Foundation Film Festival, November, 1997
Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA October, 1997
San Francisco Cinematheque, March, 1997
state of Independent Film
This is a loaded question to answer.....what is independent film...independent features,
shorts, documentaries, narratives....what i have been witnessing is that the so called
"Independents" are people who just want to create work to be
"Dependent"...that is they are making their work outside the mainstream because
it is the only avenue open to them....however, in reality, most of them are hollywood
want to break into the industry, rather that breaking the industry.
The truly independents, in my opinion, are those artists/filmmakers/what have you--
working in cinema in an attempt to express themselves, or to break new ground in what the
cinematic experience is, or having fun, or not quite knowing what it is that they are
doing, yet somehow they continue to create films shown to very few
persons, and often it just becomes a way of self fulfillment....and those people who
create cinema in an attempt to change the way we "see" the world and perhaps
experience the world a bit differently after viewing one of thier works...and the
idealists who believe that they can change the world, themselves, and bring us all to a
complete sense of independence from whatever oppression might be felt.....this state is
extremely exciting and in this moment in time in cinema is incredibly prolific....